The internet barely had time to be annoyed for that new 15 second Burger King ad before Google shut the whole thing down. A little over two hours after the fast food giant took the wraps off of a TV spot designed to trigger smart assistants across the country, the functionality no longer works.
We’ve reached out to Google for confirmation of the action, which was likely just a quick fix on the server side designed to block a specific waveform, perhaps leveraging similar functionality to block out its own ads. Meantime, we’ve tried in out on a Home unit we have around the office and can confirm that the commercial no longer has the intended effect.
Interestingly, it’s not the specific function, just the voice from the ad. Asking Home what a “Whopper sandwich” is in your own voice (like a Big Mac, but smaller) will bring up the Wikipedia entry as initially intended. For Google, the fix is likely akin to patching a security flaw (though here it’s more about annoyance than any real security threat).
As we confirmed earlier, Google played no role in the ad – and likely wants to stay out of the fray as much as possible following recent annoyance around its decision to use the device to play commercials for the new Beauty and the Beast film.
Wikipedia, meanwhile, has yet to put the Whopper page accessed therein under lockdown, but its edit page shows a war of updates, libelously accusing the burger of containing everything from rats and toenail clippings to people.
The page also now contains references to the controversy itself and subsequent Wikipedia editing, because the internet is a snake that perpetually eats its own tail. Or maybe a rat that eats toenail clippings. Hard to know for sure. Burger King surely knew what it was getting itself in for here, as the company allegedly edited the Wikipedia entry prior to the ad’s less than stellar debut earlier today.
On the upside, the company has been through worse. And hell, this is like the 17th worst PR disaster of the week so far, and it’s only Wednesday. Makes you long for the good old days of March when fast food PR meant ordering pizza from your shoes. Next time just buy the full 30 second spot and leave our connected home out of it.